What Will You Do With Your One Wild and Precious Life?

 “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver

I imagine you have read that quote or maybe even been inspired by it. However, after reading it – did anything change in your life?

Did it inspire you to take a step towards your dreams? Or fully commit to something that you have been putting off for a while?

Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Me either.. until I read the full poem from where the quote came from.


The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


The two lines of the poem that really inspire me are – “Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?”

Yes, the idea that my life is precious appeals to me, however it is the reminder of those two lines that are inspiring me to take action, follow my dreams and live more deeply NOW.

Every day life is being lived (consciously or unconsciously), right here, right now. NOW is truly all we have.

Are you truly honouring yourself and your NOW’s?

The Time You Have

If you are not truly honouring your NOW’s, maybe the following snippet can help serve an a reminder…

How Much Time Do You Have?

Ready for some math? As I write this, I am 43 years old.

Thanks to my family history, my diet and health, I will probably live to about 85 years of age (although my grandma is currently 102).

Subsequently, that is approximately another 40 years give or take.

40 years x 52 weeks/year = 2,080 weeks x 7 days/week = 14,560 days x 24 hours = 349,440 hours

Oh my gosh – 349,440 hours!!!

Yes, I have approximately 349,440 hours left in my life. And that number decreases by 24 hours each day. No day and no one is exempt from this fact.

Each day you also get to choose how you spend, invest or waste your time.

Does realising this cause a shift in perspective?

It did for me and now life suddenly seems more precious and I am valuing the time I have.


What Will You Do With Your One Wild and Precious Life NOW?

So now you have worked out approximately how many hours you have left in your wild and precious life, what choices are you going to make?

How are you going to spend or invest your hours?

Who are you going to spend your time with?

What projects are you going to focus on?

Your dreams are longing to be expressed and embraced? Are you ready to to step forward and embrace them? If not now, then when?

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?



  • Tony Pfeiffer

    Reply Reply November 8, 2023

    Well said and well done!

  • Bryan M

    Reply Reply March 10, 2023

    I just read this quote today and did a search to find out more about it. Thank you for providing more food for thought. Thinking about the time we have left puts it into perspective, doesn’t it??

    • Jane

      Reply Reply March 14, 2023

      Yes it certainly does Bryan!

  • Judi Schultz

    Reply Reply April 13, 2021

    My youngest grandson is going off to college. I only have a handful of moments remaining. He is NOT a great kid. He is truly a Fine young man.

    Before my other two grand children went to college, I wrote what I wanted to be an encouraging letter expressing my love and pride in the kind of human beings they have become. And now, I approach my third letter. I have been thinking for months of what I could say that would give him tangible evident of how I feel about him and the confidence his entire family and friends have regarding his character, work ethic, dependability. What kind of kid would surprise his grandmother after church services to take her to lunch?

    Your Habits for Well Being site have given me such great thoughts and I’m now coming down to the moment of truth … writing! So I thank you for being there … creating a quiet corner is inspiration.

    • Jane

      Reply Reply April 15, 2021

      Oh bless Judi – thanks so much for sharing – appreciate it and I hope you found the words to write your third letter. Warm wishes, Jane

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field